Recruiting and hiring candidates for data entry positions isn’t as easy as it used to be. The skills needed to do the job have changed. What candidates are looking for in the position has changed. And even the actual job description and requirements are different. What was once strictly a data-entry job is now often combined with administrative tasks and even customer service duties.
Because the nature and needs of data-entry jobs have changed, so have the skills that suitable candidates must possess. From basic work skills like organization and attention to detail to more complex skills like specific computer software knowledge and experience, the right candidate needs to have a variety of skills to succeed. And finding the right fit can make all the difference.
Here are some of the skills today’s data entry jobs demand:
- Typing. The most basic skill for a data-entry job is typing. Successful candidates must know how to type quickly and accurately. Knowledge of “ten key” typing is particularly important for those who will work extensively with numbers, for accounting and inventory, for example.
- Computer knowledge. Second to typing skills is computer knowledge. Basic computer knowledge (typing shortcuts, editing, software use) is paramount, as is being familiar with the software used for the particular data entry position.
- Basic math. Depending on the type of data entry needed, a good candidate will need to have basic math skills to make sure that data is entered correctly and be able to enter mathematical commands into work charts, etc.
- Web search. Also depending on the needs of the job, candidates should be able to perform basic web searches using browsers like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. They should also be able to discern accurate information on the Internet.
- Organization. Data entry requires a high level of organization to keep information in order before entering into a system and make sure it’s entered in the correct order and in the correct place. Someone with a more scattered work style might not be suitable.
- Attention to Detail. This is also incredibly important because if they don’t pay attention to detail, mistakes can happen and an entire project can be jeopardized. Data entry is about speed but it’s also about careful attention to detail.
- Confidentiality. Some data entry-jobs are highly confidential; this is especially true for government and medical jobs. A good candidate should be willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement and strictly abide by it.
- Thoroughness. Data entry is about being thorough. Entering everything into the system carefully, exactly as it appears, and crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s is essential.
- Independence. Many data entry workers work from home. This means they need to be accustomed to a certain level of independence and can work with little or no supervision.
- Analysis. Another aspect of data entry can be data analysis. A good candidate for this kind of job will have experience analyzing data and will know how to translate numbers into relevant information for the project.
- Results-driven. Finally, since many data entry employees work from home and need to be self-motivated, it’s important that they are driven to complete their projects in a timely manner.
As with all recruiting, finding the perfect candidate for a data entry job isn’t easy. What someone writes on their resume or says in an interview doesn’t necessarily reflect their skills and abilities to do the job right. Testing can be a way to accurately gauge a candidate’s familiarity with specific software used in data entry. It can also be a way to test the candidate’s typing skills, accuracy, basic math knowledge, and web search abilities.
The first step is to determine exactly what your data-entry needs are. Do you need that person to update databases with client information only, or to also take on an administrative or customer service role? Then you can draft a specific job description—one that will attract candidates who can demonstrate all of the necessary skills. And consider testing them for those skills. This way you’ll be sure they are able to do exactly what you need.
Staffing agencies such as AtWork use eSkill for pre-employment testing. Watch our video to learn how it helps them.